Is this the beginning of hip hop's newest rivalry?
If Kendrick Lamar's lyrics are to be believed, it just might be. The Daily Beast recently noticed that a verse on Lamar's song "King Kunta" (off his just-released album To Pimp a Butterfly) takes quite the shot at Kanye West.
The line goes like this: "I can dig rapping, but a rapper with a ghostwriter?/ What the f--k happened?/ (Oh no) I swore I wouldn't tell/ But most of y'all sharing bars like you got the bottom bunk in a two-man cell/ Something's in the water/ And if I got a brown nose for some gold then I'd rather be a bum than a motherf--kin' baller."
Clearly he has beef with somebody.
But is it really Kanye? Here's the proof. There have been rumors and conspiracy theories floating around for years that West uses ghostwriters to help out on his songs. One former G.O.O.D. Music (Kanye's record label) rapper even told MTV that he's written verses for 'Ye without being credited. Kanye isn't the only hip hp star who's been criticized for using ghostwriters, but he and Lamar have a history, thanks to a slightly awkward tour the two did together for Yeezus.
Another line in "King Kunta" seems to refer to that tour, saying "I was contemplatin' gettin' on stage just to go back to the 'hood, see my enemy and say… Bitch, where you when I was walkin'?" Kendrick's management was vehemently opposed to his joining Kanye on the Yeezus tour, and once he did get on board the two barely spoke. Their tension was awkwardly documented during a New York Times Magazine profile.
There's little chance that Kanye didn't pick up on all this shade when he gave Kendrick's album a listen, and since this is Kanye West we're talking about, he's probably not going to stay quiet about it for long. Hopefully we can look forward to a rebuttal when the rapper drops his own album, So Help Me God, later this year.